In contrast, Italian and French workers were more likely to participate in unions that directly oppose capitalism in favor of socialist or communist platforms.
Engels introduced the concept of false consciousness to explain how workers can develop a mistaken or distorted sense of identity and their place in the social hierarchy.
Because people with false consciousness identify with the bourgeoisie rather than with other workers in the same class, they do not develop a true class consciousness that would disrupt the social order.
The concept of class consciousness originates in the work of Karl Marx, who emphasized that it is important for the working class (proletariat) to see itself as a group with shared interests in order for workers to come together and overthrow the dominant capitalist class (bourgeoisie) and to take control of the means of production in a revolution.
Although Marx never actually used the term class consciousness, he distinguished between “class in itself,” where workers merely have a common relation to the means of production, and “class for itself,” where they organize to pursue common class interests.
These states range from alertness to sleep and everything in between.
Alertness is what most people think of when they think about being conscious.
What it means to be working class can vary across time and space, making it hard for workers to have a common awareness of class.
Recently, some sociologists argued that class consciousness is an overly rigid concept.
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